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. he depicted an idealized italian landscape and called it childe harold's pilgrimage, after lord byron's poem. in an attempt to lift the painting to the intellectual stature enjoyed by the romantic poets, turner included a fragment of byron's verse in the exhibition catalogue. (reader) "...and now, fair italy! thou art the garden of the world. even in thy desert what is like to thee? thy very weeds are beautiful, thy waste more rich than other climes' fertility: thy wreck a glory, and thy ruin graced with an immaculate charm which cannot be defaced." (narrator) turner's travels in italy, like so many of his contemporaries, were part of a phenomenon called the grand tour. the artistic and architectural legacies of ancient rome and greece were thought to ennoble the minds that contemplated them. turner recorded their beauty-- the vestiges of power in ruin, history frozen in atmospheric splendor, a lost paradise still tinged by myth. he could capture that beauty like no one else which earned the praise of his friend the painter thomas lawrence. (reader) "the subtle harmony of this atmosph
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